LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
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Letters and Journals of Lord Byron
Lord Byron to Thomas Moore, 8 August 1822

Life of Byron: to 1806
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Life of Byron: 1811
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Life of Byron: 1813
Life of Byron: 1814
Life of Byron: 1815
Life of Byron: 1816 (I)
Life of Byron: 1816 (II)
Life of Byron: 1817
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Life of Byron: 1821
Life of Byron: 1822
Life of Byron: 1823
Life of Byron: 1824
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“Pisa, August 8th, 1822,

“You will have heard by this time that Shelley and another gentleman (Captain Williams) were drowned about a month ago (a month yesterday), in a squall off the Gulf of Spezia. There is thus another man gone, about whom the world was ill-naturedly, and ignorantly, and brutally mistaken. It will, perhaps, do him justice now, when he can be no better for it*.

“I have not seen the thing you mention†, and only heard of it casually, nor have I any desire. The price is, as I saw in some advertisements, fourteen shillings, which is too much to pay for a libel on oneself. Some one said in a letter, that it was a Doctor Watkins, who deals in the life and libel line. It must have diminished your natural pleasure, as a friend (vide Rochefoucault), to see yourself in it.

“With regard to the Blackwood fellows, I never published any thing against them; nor, indeed, have seen their magazine (except in Galignani’s extracts) for these three years past. I once wrote, a good while ago, some remarks‡ on their review of Don Juan, but saying very little about themselves,—and these were not published. If you think that I ought to follow your example§ (and I like to be in your company when I can) in contradicting their impudence, you may shape this declaration of mine into a similar paragraph for me. It is possible that you may have seen the little I did write (and never published) at

* In a letter to Mr. Murray, of an earlier date, which has been omitted to avoid repetitions, he says on the same subject:—“You were all mistaken about Shelley, who was, without exception, the best and least selfish man I ever knew.” There is also another passage in the same letter which, for its perfect truth, I must quote:—“I have received your scrap, with Henry Drury’s letter enclosed. It is just like him—always kind and ready to oblige his old friends.”

† A book which had just appeared, entitled “Memoirs of the Right Hon. Lord Byron.”

‡ The remarkable pamphlet from which extracts have been already given in this volume.

§ It had been asserted, in a late Number of Blackwood, that both Lord Byron and myself were employed in writing satires against that Magazine.

608 NOTICES OF THE A. D. 1822.
Murray’s;—it contained much more about Southey than about the Blacks.

“If you think that I ought to do any thing about Watkins’s book, I should not care much about publishing my Memoir now, should it be necessary to counteract the fellow. But, in that case, I should like to look over the press myself. Let me know what you think, or whether I had better not;—at least, not the second part, which touches on the actual confines of still existing matters.

“I have written three more Cantos of Don Juan, and am hovering on the brink of another (the ninth). The reason I want the stanzas again which I sent you is, that as these cantos contain a full detail (like the storm in Canto Second) of the siege and assault of Ismael, with much of sarcasm on those butchers in large business, your mercenary soldiery, it is a good opportunity of gracing the poem with * * * * * *. With these things and these fellows, it is necessary, in the present clash of philosophy and tyranny, to throw away the scabbard. I know it is against fearful odds; but the battle must be fought; and it will be eventually for the good of mankind, whatever it may be for the individual who risks himself.

“What do you think of your Irish bishop? Do you remember Swift’s line, ‘Let me have a barrack—a fig for the clergy.’ This seems to have been his reverence’s motto. * * * *

* * * * * *
“yours, &c.